This group of stories is the second in a series of story groupings based upon a pre-existing work of art, in this case a Richard Anderson painting. The first such group, The Palencar Project, was published by Tor.com a year ago, and I refer you to my short essay, Introducing the Palencar Project, for an explanation of the rationale for doing stories based on paintings, a long tradition in popular fiction that has apparently fallen out of fashion in recent decades.
I find it intriguing that in two of the stories, the painting itself is part of the setting and plays a role. The relation of illustration to the written word is complex and deep, and is centuries old. Perhaps a lot older. In my imagination there were words in some oral tradition associated with the astonishing cave paintings of the Neanderthals in Europe.
There are a number of ways one can interpret a painting, and I asked the writers in this case to interpret this in the direction of science fiction. As you can tell in particular from the Judith Moffett story, a consideration of the image can evoke a variety of responses. But whatever the image, it becomes a repository of things the writer wishes to express, and becomes embedded in the prose fiction, uniquely in each story.
There were other writers invited to submit work and I anticipate at least a couple of stories appearing in a year or two in other venues that began as drafts for this project, but could not be completed now. The three stories here, though, are finished and accomplished and make a set. They are in my opinion of high quality and it is my hope that you enjoy them.
Those writers and stories are:
“Reborn” by Ken Liu
“Space Ballet” by Judith Moffett
Appearing on Tor.com on February 4
“Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Appearing on Tor.com on February 12
Can’t wait until the end of the Project? You can purchase all three of the stories in The Anderson Project ebook , available from all major ebook retailers for $1.99.